Rachel Fernandez // No dejes que el hombre blanco sostenga tus pesos

No dejes que el hombre blanco sostenga tus pesos

"No dejes que el hombre blanco sostenga tus pesos" is a photographic series of constructed social documentary depicting various scenes and people from different South American countries. The constructed images are combined with images taken on a recent trip to Tijuana and further blur the lines between staged photography and 'real life'.

My name is Rachel Fernandez; I am a Hispanic-American photographer who focuses on creating narrative work based around urgent social issues. In 2019, I was awarded the generous DeRoy Testamentary Foundation grant, to produce my controversial series of images surrounding Immigration stereotypes and misconceptions on a large-scale format to be displayed later this year in a public park. Starting off, I knew I wanted to create a body of work that I am passionate about, therefore, I chose to focus on Immigration, once again. I knew I needed to go to the border and photograph the people there to present a face to the hardships. I knew I needed to undertake everything I could to make this happen so I started up  "Raquelita's  Taco Tuesday"  cooking  and selling taco plates and white chicken chili from my student residence . From the immense amount of generous love and mutual support from friends and family, "No dejes que el hombre blanco sostenga  tus pesos" was born.

What we frequently neglect to recognize is that the people coming  here are coming for a reason . They are fortunately escaping extremely violent conditions within their local community, most of the time life threatening. President Trump's current immigration policies are branded with the saying "Put America First", which is supposed to be directed towards protecting American workers and the industries in which they work. This is disturbing because the foreign-born population number is at a high of 44.5 million, which amounts to 13.7% of the combined population. As a daughter of a Salvadoran father who has faced a lot of stereotyping, I feel passionate about bringing attention to issues often overlooked. I hope my images provide a voice to people who are not spoken for.